– Australia on Tuesday confirmed plans to fight plans to downgrade the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status due to climate change as environmentalists welcomed recommendation from the United Nations World Heritage Committee.
Australia will be firm against Unesco’s plan to classify the Great Barrier Reef as a World Heritage Site in “danger” because of climate change, the government said on Tuesday.
“I know … that climate change is the biggest threat to the reef and in no way am I stepping away from that recognition and countries including European countries have got strong views about what policies different countries should have on climate change and I understand that as well, but this is not the convention in which to have those conversations,” Ley said, referring to the Convention for the Protection of World Heritage Site.
The upgrade of the Great Barrier Reef prompted environmental groups to target the Australian government’s unwillingness to take stronger climate action.
Any World Heritage downgrade of the reef would reduce the income from tourism the natural wonder can generate for Australia as it will draw fewer tourists to a ruined environment and decaying coral.
“The recommendation from Unesco is clear and unequivocal that the Australian government is not doing enough to protect our greatest natural asset, especially on climate change,”Richard Leck
“The recommendation from Unesco is clear and unequivocal that the Australian government is not doing enough to protect our greatest natural asset, especially on climate change,” WWF ocean operations director Richard Leck said.
Observers say the swearing in on Tuesday of the new Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce who rejects measures to fight climate change that are increasing prices, is a signal that Australia is unlikely to set less ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The Great Barrier Reef has experienced three major coral bleaching events in the last five years, and has lost half its corals since 1995, due to rising sea temperatures.
This is what it looks like when coral spawns in the Great Barrier Reef pic.twitter.com/VC6K8XwMXQ
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) June 22, 2021